Connect to share and comment

Two reportedly killed in Asiana jet crash at San Francisco airport


SAN FRANCISCO, July 6 (Yonhap) -- An Asiana Airlines passenger jet carrying 307 people crashed upon landing at San Francisco International Airport Saturday, killing at least two people and injuring dozens of others on board, city officials said.

The Boeing 777 plane, which departed from Incheon International Airport west of Seoul, was carrying 291 passengers and 16 crew members, according to the airliner, which is South Korea's second largest.

Seventy-seven South Koreans, 141 Chinese and 61 Americans were on board with the nationality of the remainder not confirmed yet.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the crash of Asiana flight 214 occurred at around 11:40 a.m. local time.

The Federal Aviation Administration said 48 people were transferred to nearby hospitals immediately after the crash, which almost burnt out the body of the plane.

The FAA said the ill-fated plane may have collided with something after it landed on the runway's threshold, with local media showing video clips on YouTube and television footage of the plane's emergency evacuation slides being deployed and people fleeing the wreckage. Skies seemed to have been clear at the time of the accident.

Images showed considerable damage to the plane's fuselage, wings and tail section. One engine may have detached from the plane following the crash.

A passenger told rescue workers that despite the crash, most people on board seemed to be alright, while eyewitnesses said the crash was horrific. The flight crew escaped the crash without serious injury that can help shed light on what happened.

News reports here said the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched an investigation team to determine the cause of the crash, and that Boeing, the plane's manufacturer, is preparing to provide technical assistance for the probe of one of its best-selling jets. Asiana's U.S. headquarters also said all of its employees have been ordered to report to work with a team being sent to San Francisco.

"We have only been told about the crash and do not have details," an executive said, adding that the company will cooperate fully with authorities on this matter.

The B777-200ER is a twin-engine, long-range jet, popular with many airlines around the world. Asiana reported 12 of the jets in its fleet.

South Korea's foreign ministry also said that it has set up a task force to check the crash with the consul general in San Francisco ordered to make contact with crash investigators. Diplomats have been sent to hospitals known to have taken in injured passengers and trying to determine the extent of injuries sustained.

Saturday's accident involving Asiana marks the second time in the company's history that one of its passenger jets was involved in a major accident. The last accident occurred in 1993 when a B737-500 crashed while trying to land at Mokpo airport, 410 kilometers south of Seoul. Two crew members and 66 passengers of the 110 on board were killed.

<All rights reserved by Yonhap News Agency>